Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

May 20, 2013

Senator Nichols: My five cents

(Continued)

AUSTIN — Campaign disclosure heads to Governor

This week was a big win for a bill I coauthored regarding campaign disclosure. SB 346 cracks down on so-called "dark money," contributions made to tax-exempt political groups who influence elections but are not required to reveal their donors. This bill would require any dark money group that spends $25,000 or more on politics to disclose all contributors who gave more than $1,000. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, these groups spent more than $300 million in the 2012 campaign cycle alone.

After passing out of the Senate 23-6 last month, SB 346 passed out of the House 95-52 on Monday. It now heads to the Governor's desk and, if signed, will be a major step forward for transparency in the election process.

Cottage food bill advances

On Tuesday, I was proud to vote for HB 970 in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This bill expands the ability of "cottage food" producers, individuals who make food in their homes, to produce more low-risk foods for sale and sell those foods outside the home.

Prior to 2011, it was illegal to make any foods in one’s home and sell it at all. However, in the spring of that year, we passed the first cottage food bill which provided that people could make specific low-risk foods such as cakes, cookies, and jams in their homes and sell directly to consumers, up to $50,000 per year.

The 2011 law has led to the establishment and growth of numerous small businesses across the state. HB 970 will build on this progress by allowing for other types of food to be sold, including foods such as candy, dried fruits and vegetables, and granolas. Perhaps most importantly, individuals will be able to sell these goods at new locations such as farmers’ markets, farm stands and community events.

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  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tina_Baggett.tif Gallatin resident seeks help with expenses after diagnosis

    A Gallatin woman and longtime employee at Prosperity Bank is about to undergo the first stage of procedures for stem cell harvesting.
    Tina Baggett, 51, became unable to work in February due to complications from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bullard group rallies behind alcohol petition

    A petition calling for a city-wide city election this November that would make all areas of Bullard wet, including those which fall in Cherokee County, has proven successful, as more than the required 221 signatures have been collected.

    July 19, 2014

  • mom and kids_6776.tif Jacksonville woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends

    Ethel Terry, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house on July 15 at the Twin Oaks Care Facility in Jacksonville.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery grass.tif Extra rainfall produces more abundant lawns, extends hay season

    Steady periods of rain this summer have been a homeowner's dream, as lawns appear more lush than in previous years.
    But for city workers, that same growth has taken on nightmarish proportions.
    “It's a maintenance nightmare,” said Ben Briley, director of the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee County arrests: July 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    July 19, 2014

  • Detective recovers nearly $7K in case

    When a Jacksonville woman became a victim of a scam, Jacksonville Police Detective Greg Compton stopped at nothing to solve the case.
    In early January, Compton said a neighbor of a 94-year-old woman reported that someone had “taken advantage of her.”

    July 17, 2014

  • Bullard ISD names interim leader

    During a meeting Monday night, the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees appointed Joe Dan Lee as Interim Superintendent.

    July 17, 2014